- Social Innovation Fellowship
The Esperanza Education Project offers an opportunity to aid an indigenous group by utilizing the tremendous social capital available in our university context. Interns will travel to Ecuador during the summer of 2010 to live with the Secoya community of the Ecuadorian Amazon, working directly on development projects and laying the foundations for local eco-tourism operations. Most importantly, they will contribute to the inception of a community education fund, an endowment that will subsidize the matriculation of Secoya youth to accessible, high-caliber schools.
Students will also be engaged in an inter-disciplinary, first-hand study of the resource extraction process in Ecuador and its social and environmental implications.The investigation will focus on the involved local interplay of political economics, history, and cultural identity. Field-exposure and training by a multitude of scientists, government officials, lawyers, and scholars will prepare interns to better advocate for marginalized populations with particular regard to Amazonian societies.